Our Story

Our Mission

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty’s mission is to advance economic and social justice through education, advocacy, and litigation. We work with low-income New Mexicans to improve living conditions, increase opportunities, and protect the rights of people living in poverty.

Underlying our mission is a vision of New Mexico without poverty, where all peoples’ basic human rights are met, including the rights to food, housing, healthcare, a living wage, education, and equal access to justice.

The Center carries out its mission in several ways with one common theme: to bring the voice and perspective of low-income New Mexicans to processes which may impact their lives, and from which they are often excluded.

Our Strategies

The Center has core competencies in poverty law and the policy areas in which we act. We also have sophisticated knowledge about the challenges facing New Mexico’s unique populations, including immigrant communities, people living in rural areas, and Native Americans.

We have found success using the following strategies:

  • We use our deep expertise and solid research capacities to thoroughly investigate issues impacting low-income New Mexicans.
  • We collaborate with community members, advocacy organizations, program administrators and policymakers to learn about issues—ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in our process.
  • We use our information and expertise to advise state agencies of problems with programs and policies, advocate for needed improvements, and assist with developing and implementing solutions. When changes are adopted, we engage in ongoing monitoring until we are convinced the changes are successfully in place from the perspective of the intended beneficiaries.
  • We monitor legislation that could impact New Mexicans living in poverty, educate lawmakers about the potential impact of their proposals on the poor, and advocate for designing laws in the best interests of low-income New Mexicans.
  • When necessary, we pursue litigation to ensure that the rights of low-income New Mexicans are upheld.
  • We are widely-considered to be a ‘go-to’ source of policy information on the poverty law issues of healthcare, public benefits, and labor rights. We provide quality information, technical assistance, and training to advocates, community members, service providers, policymakers, and program administrators. Please see our trainings page for more information about how to request a training event for your organization.